It’s autobiography season.
Retirement is part of sport. It is rare, though, that we have three top cricketers all releasing their autobiographies within a few weeks of each other. But as I write this, on the 24th of October, cricket and sports fans can get stuck into any of these three books written by two Australians and one New Zealander.
Michael Clarke: My Story.
Cricinfo review: the book is a bit like the man himself: passionate, emotional and very much a roller coaster. His time in Australian cricket spanned eras, taking him from a young member of a powerful team to a contentious vice-captain of a struggling one, then captain and selector during another most turbulent time.
Verdict: worth a read, but the media have seemingly printed all the good bits so there’s probably not much surprise left. That’s a real shame. Probably for die-hard fans only. I will probably read.
Brendon McCullum: Declared.
Whitcoulls summary: He talks about growing up loving sport more than anything, getting better and better at cricket and his uncertain transition to international cricketer. In this explosive autobiography he opens up on the many controversies he has been involved in, including the Chris Cairns affair and the leadership change from Ross Taylor. He exposes behind-the scenes machinations as well as the private moments of exultation, tumult and despair.
Verdict: read it. I am interested to hear what McCullum has to say on the above anyway, and by accounts, he gives the reader some good insight.
Mitchell Johnson: Resilient.
ABC Books synopsis: The story of how a shy 17-year-old champion tennis player was plucked from obscurity and anointed by Dennis Lillee is the stuff of sporting fairytales. Fast tracked into the Australian Under 19 side he made his Test debut in 2007. Within 12 months he had become the world’s most feared bowler. But by 2011 the promise of greatness was unravelling. Left questioning his ability and his future, Mitchell was ready to quit cricket, but resolved to give it one more shot. With the support of family and help from his old mentor and a war hero, he took his fitness to a whole new level and channelled his strength and renewed confidence back into his bowling. Mitchell Johnson’s comeback has become one of cricket’s most inspiring stories of the power of resilience.
Verdict: read it. Two reasons why: one, because his transformation from low to a searing high would be great to understand. How did he turn it around? Two: I know the publisher and she told me he was a delight to deal with and had great insight. Go get it!
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